PETALING JAYA: Selangor PKR strongman Datuk Dr Halili Rahmat has quit the party and joined Umno.
The Hulu Selangor treasurer, who had once been considered as the party’s candidate for the Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election, said he was leaving because the party had “far deflected from its struggles” since he joined it in 1999.
“PKR is now controlled by a small group of leaders who are narrow-minded and have developed leftist ideologies that Malaysians, particularly Malays, are not comfortable with,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
“The Government under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the other hand has been working hard and has been sincere in bringing political changes in Umno and Barisan Nasional.
“I have decided to continue fighting for the people by giving my full support to him (Najib) and other leaders,” he said.
The neurosurgeon denied that his decision was due to his disappointment at not being chosen as a candidate to contest in the Hulu Selangor by-election.
“I did not ask nor offer myself to be a PKR candidate and I did not say that I received any invitation to be a candidate even though there was a PKR leader who suggested it,” he said.
Dr Halili contested against Datuk G. Palanivel for the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat in the 1999 general election, and against Datuk Zainal Abidin Sakom for the Batang Kali state seat in the 2004 general election. He lost on both occasions.
Dr Halili said he was making the statement because he did not want his name to be used by PKR to fish for votes.
“As a local boy from Hulu Selangor, it is very difficult for me to defend the credibility of PKR because it has done nothing for the good of the constituents there in the past two years after winning the parliamentary seat despite Pakatan Rakyat being in power in Selangor,” he said.
On whether he will campaign for Barisan in the Hulu Selangor by-election, Dr Halili said he will be in Melbourne to attend his daughter’s graduation on Thursday.
Source: The Star Online (April 20, 2010)